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Pair of Saltcellars
France, ca. 1520–40
Lead-glazed white clay, inlaid with dark clay
AZ037.1: 5 3/4 x 3 3/8 inches (145 x 85 mm.)
AZ037.2: 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches (140 x 95 mm.)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1906; AZ037.1-2
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These elaborate saltcellars, one decorated with salamanders, the emblem of the French king Fran├žois i (1494–1547), and the other with interlaced crescents, the insignia of Henri II's mistress Diane de Poitiers (1499–1566), are a rare example of the extremely fine, complex ceramics produced during the mid-sixteenth century in France, perhaps at Saint-Porchaire, a town in the southwest. Only about sixty known examples of this so-called Saint-Porchaire ware survive.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.